|Elements at Gateway to include senior housing
Editors note: The following is a compendium of news items about the Parkrose and Gateway neighborhoods of Mid-Multnomah County from veteran beat reporter Lee Perlman.
In Februarys compendium, Perlman reports on the 2006-2007 Gateway Regional Centers urban renewal budget, which contains good news, followed by some not-so-good news about the urban renewal districts 102nd Avenue Improvement Project. Perlman also informs us about one part of the proposed large development in Gateway, the Elements, that has undergone changes before breaking any ground.
Perlman doesnt stop there.
He also reports on Portland Parks & Recreations budget cuts and how it will or wont affect services in east Portland.
Budget cuts being this months theme, Perlmans next item has news about money woes for the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the city bureau that oversees operations at our East Portland Neighborhood Office.
Speaking of EPNO, it looks like they are moving out of the building that also houses Portland Police Bureaus East Precinct.
Perlmans final February compendium item reports on the delay in resolving the drug- and prostitution-free zones in east Portland.
THE MID-COUNTY MEMO
PAC gets first look at budget; light rail assessment reduced
In its first view of its budget for fiscal year 2006-2007, the Gateway Regional Center Urban Renewal District Opportunity Gateway Program Advisory Committee received a welcome surprise: the districts assessment for the new light rail line to Clackamas Town Center had been reduced from $5 million to $3 million. According to Portland Development Commission staff, the change reflected a decision that the lower figure more accurately reflected the projects benefit to Gateway.
Otherwise, the budget contains $390,000. Features include $20,000 for transportation improvements, $90,000 for business finance tools-down from $300,000 in 2005-$10,000 for business retention and expansion-down from $50,000 in 2005-and $50,000 for the popular Storefront Improvement Program-down from $76,842 in 2005.
102nd Avenue Improvement Project short of funds
Sometimes standing still really means moving backwards. This seems to be true of the 102nd Avenue Improvement Project, as the Opportunity Gateway Program Advisory Committee discovered last month to its chagrin.
Due to inflation in the prices of steel, concrete and other building material, the streetscape improvement project, once considered fully funded at $6.7 million, does not have enough money for all planned improvements between Northeast Halsey and Southeast Stark streets, PAC Transportation Committee Chair Beth Baltz reported last month. If the planned level of improvements is maintained, the project can be taken only as far south as East Burnside Street, Baltz said.
Bob Earnest, another member of the committee, said the group was unanimous that it remain a quality project, so that we could showcase at least that much of it, rather than discarding planned elements.
When asked if there might be more money available through Metro or some other source, Portland Development Commission staffer Sara King said, This is happening all over the region. Everyone will be seeking more money.
The project, scheduled to begin in 2007, would have installed street trees and other sidewalk amenities, bike lanes, and pedestrian islands at strategic locations.
Elements at Gateway adds senior housing project
Avamere Health Services is planning a four-story senior housing project at Northeast 102nd Avenue and Pacific Street. According to representative Nancy Hubbard, the ground floor of the structure will have services such as a beauty parlor and a bistro. These will be primarily for residents of the building, she told the Opportunity Gateway PAC last month, but may be available to the wider community on a limited basis. The land is part of a parcel owned by developer Ted Gilbert, who had been trying unsuccessfully to develop a project of his own, Elements at Gateway, on it. Hubbard said she hoped her project could break ground in 2007.
Hazelwood Neighborhood Association Chair Arlene Kimura later told the Memo that the project faces some issues. Avamere proposes to place a loading dock on Northeast Pacific Street, but the project is in a design zone and unless they can find a very creative way to disguise it, that will be a concern for both Hazelwood and the city, Kimura says.
Parks & Recreation previews possible budget cuts
The Portland Parks & Recreation last month unveiled a draft proposal for budget cuts. The cuts reflect a call by Mayor Tom Potter for each city bureau to prepare a three percent cut package. In Parks case, this comes to $3,328,996.
The biggest single item in the proposal unveiled at a meeting at Benson High School last month, is the elimination of 27.7 full-time-equivalent jobs. These include part time and seasonal positions, as well as a shorter season for the summer Park Safety Patrol. Other items are reduced maintenance at many facilities, reduced hours at some, higher fees, an effort to generate more fee-producing programs, greater use of electronic communication in place of printing, use of recycled plastic bags at off-leash dog parks, and elimination of lighting in parks from midnight to dawn.
Meeting to discuss Hazelwood Water District property improvements
The East Portland Neighborhood Office and the Portland Water Bureau are sponsoring a meeting at the former Hazelwood Water District headquarters, 1017 N.E. 117th Ave. at Holladay Street, beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6. The meeting, intended primarily for adjacent neighbors, will discuss possible improvements to the property for use as a public park, upgrading of Northeast 117th Avenue, and use of the existing building as the East Portland Neighborhood Office. The lease for the offices existing space in the Portland Police Bureaus East Precinct building expires this year, and Commissioner Randy Leonard has offered the use of part of the former Hazelwood District building for free. The East Portland Neighborhood chairs have endorsed the idea in concept.